I had 1.2m length, 1.5m wide fabric to work with and I used it all. I used Westwood Acres Japanese apron free pattern as my starting point and tweaked it during the making. I made mine over 12" longer than the original pattern, you just need to extend the vertical side line on the pattern piece. I also extended the side pieces by ½" (see more on this below). I didn't follow the instructions as the written ones on the download were different from the way I wanted to go ahead. I hemmed the curved sides first, double ¼" hem. Then made the straps and added them to the front along with a facing made by measuring the width of the top plus ½" each side and 3" deep (more generous than the pattern facing). The strap ends are sandwiched in this at the top. At the back the straps were secured by pressing ¼" hem along each side lengths and then pressing 2½" so the side lengths encase the strap ends. I shortened them by 3". I hemmed the apron with some 2" deep twill tape as the print was just past the herb jars and I didn't want to crop them. The pockets are lined with denim (same as the facing) scraps left from a Cleo dress.
I love it! Aprons are a bit like pyjamas, unsung heroes of dressmaking: items that get worn over and over again. If you make one that floats your boat, you'll be happy every time you wear it. I'm on half term break here which always means more cooking; my daughter and I like to try out new recipes in the holiday that might take a bit more time and I'll be wearing my new apron.
I'm also wearing my Maker's Atelier Drawstring Dress and the clogs are here by Lotta From Stockholm.
Japanese Cross-Back Apron Resources
- Westwood Acres free cross-back Japanese apron download and Youtube video. You can either use the pattern download provided or follow Amanda's instruction to draft your own pattern following a few basic measurements. The video is long and detailed. This pattern is good is you are working with a limited amount of fabric or a print, especially a one-way print.
- Purl Soho has a lovely free cross back apron pattern which is all rotary cut and doesn't use templates or paper patterns. This also has a different pocket construction where the pockets are part of a side panel.
- Hepworth Apron by Jenni Smith. This is a paper pattern so if you'd prefer that part ready done for you, this could be for you but it is quite pricey. The straps on this apron are cut with the side pieces, rather than separate straps. Available at Jenni's website. There are a series of Youtube videos covering all construction stages. She also sells kits and notion sets for her apron.
- Children's and Adults Japanese Cross-Back aprons. Free download and video support from the Japanese Sewing Books website. This one uses lots of bias binding to finish the edges.